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Good evening my name is Derek Johnson.

Short, challenging and fulfilling. Words that best summarize my time at City Academy. I started my journey at City Academy in 4th grade. I was a lost soul at first, but in a short time I have grown into the school community and was able to make friends and work diligently to meet academic expectations. At my prior school, I only learned the fundamentals, but in just my short time at City Academy, I have been immersed in an environment that challenged rather than reinforced, causing me to apply myself more and strive to be greater. I AM PROUD OF MY JOURNEY!!!!!

While teachers and my lovely parents have supported me along the way, I believe my triumph comes from the years of having to be accountable and diligent on the court. This hard work made its way from the basketball court to the classroom. I am a passionate basketball player with over 10 years of experience. For the last five years, I have played for an Elite Traveling Basketball Team. I had to be accepting of winning or losing and attending long evening practices in spite of school obligations, yet still managing my school work; ultimately demonstrating accountability. I learned how to deal with triumphs and hardships on the court. You win some and you lose some but what really matters is how you deal with your roadblocks or in the language of basketball “foul count”.

I had a few fouls at City Academy. First and foremost, I learned that I was competing against some of the most intellectual peers I had ever encountered. I thought I was the MVP on the court, but soon learned I had competition that required me to have my game face on at ALL times. I even had times when I had “techs” (which are really bad fouls) where I didn’t receive full credit on my assignments because I neglected to put forth all my effort. A few techs helped me to realize I had to invest more time into winning the game. The game has been won and Fulfilled! I now stand before you proud of the player and student I have become; awaiting my trophy and my start to a new game at JOHN BURROUGHS!!!

To my parents, thank you. You are the reason I started the game and the reason I stayed in the game. You helped me learn that there is light at the end of the tunnel all you have to do is keep working and focusing on the end goal.

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